The ball is now firmly within the PCB’s court docket after Sarfaraz Ahmed declared he wished to proceed as captain of Pakistan in all three codecs. Talking shortly after touchdown in Karachi following Pakistan’s exit from the 2019 World Cup, Sarfaraz mentioned the job had been given to him by the PCB, and any resolution to switch him should come by way of the identical channel.
Sarfaraz had earlier within the 12 months hinted he would take a call on the Check captaincy following the World Cup, however now seems content material to proceed within the position until requested to step apart. The PCB formally solely makes appointments on a series-by-series foundation, with managing director Wasim Khan set to go a cricket committee overview of the final two years earlier than making any suggestions on the longer term.
“It isn’t that I am saying I refuse to resign. All I am saying is the choice rests with the PCB, the identical method as the choice to nominate me captain was taken by them,” Sarfaraz mentioned. “I am certain they’re going to take the choice that is finest for Pakistan.”
Pakistan started their World Cup marketing campaign disastrously following a thumping defeat to West Indies, the results of which stretched far past the lack of two factors. It meant Pakistan had been at all times catching up by way of web run price towards their rivals within the race for the semi-final slots, an issue exacerbated by a heavy defeat towards India that left them hanging by a thread.
Whereas they did stage a comeback following that recreation, profitable their closing 4, they may solely tie with New Zealand on 11 factors, with the latter’s considerably superior web run price that means Pakistan fell simply brief. Talking of the match on the whole, Sarfaraz discovered coronary heart from the way in which Pakistan had responded to adversity, significantly after intense criticism, each skilled and private, following the loss to India.
“We could not do nicely towards the West Indies in our match opener, however gained momentum by beating England, the house crew and the favourites,” Sarfaraz mentioned. “Due to the delay in our subsequent match attributable to a washout towards Sri Lanka, we had misplaced that momentum and it mirrored in our performances towards Australia and India.
“There’s at all times criticism while you play poorly, and we did play poorly initially. Loads of issues occurred after the India recreation that damage the gamers deeply. We had been distressed by that defeat like each fan. It was actually tough for us to deal with the issues that occurred within the subsequent seven days. A few of the former gamers, who had been commentating, had been current there and supplied us assist and backing. I known as up a gathering comprising simply the 15 gamers within the squad and mentioned what errors we is perhaps making. The crew responded rather well, and everybody gave their trustworthy opinions, and we bounced again and received the ultimate 4 video games.”
Footage of Sarfaraz Ahmed strolling round a shopping center along with his younger son in his lap being repeatedly abused by a fan went viral on social media, with Sarfaraz’s resolution to not react profitable him a lot assist among the many normal fanbase. It led to a lot criticism of the tone of the censure the gamers had acquired following the sport towards India, with a normal softening within the days that adopted, eased inevitably by the uptick in each type and outcomes.
“It wasn’t solely me who was subjected to slurs by followers,” Sarfaraz revealed. “Many different gamers had been additionally focused in malls and different public locations. Some issues that occurred didn’t get consideration, however we reported all incidents to the administration.
“Anyhow, it’s unlucky that we could not qualify attributable to NRR. However I’m proud of each participant. Everybody, no matter their seniority or expertise, contributed. I’m additionally grateful to the teaching employees. They’re usually behind the scenes and do not get credit score. However I’m grateful to them and particularly to Mickey Arthur who stored issues collectively in that tough time.”
“The entire squad was mine. Whenever you lose, numerous issues that ought to keep within the dressing room get leaked”
There have been experiences of malcontent within the first half of the marketing campaign, with rumours of disagreements between the gamers and the administration that needed to be mediated by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, who, it had not escaped discover, was there with the crew for a lot of the marketing campaign. Sarfaraz, nevertheless, dismissed experiences of infighting, and mentioned there was no disagreement about squad choice, with coach Mickey Arthur, Inzamam and Sarfaraz himself all happy with the make-up of the ultimate 15.
“The entire squad was mine. The crew for the primary 5 matches was made by me, Inzi bhai, and Mickey. Whenever you lose, numerous issues that ought to keep within the dressing room get leaked. The gamers that we wanted, they had been current. Aside from Wahab Riaz, all of the gamers had been enjoying within the latest years. This was my crew and I had full authority over it.
“Amir was by no means out of the crew. Individuals say that we chosen him once more, however we wished Amir to play in England earlier than he received hen pox and could not play within the bilateral collection. We known as on Wahab as a result of we had realised we might want an specific pacer.
“The performances general have been good. Probably the most junior bowler [Shaheen Afridi] picked up 16 wickets. Babar Azam enjoying his first World Cup batted brilliantly and scored a century and half-centuries. As a crew, we put up an awesome combat. It’s unlucky we could not qualify.”